Review of KCCO Black Lager from The Chive and Redhook

Colin Joliat

The Chive does a lot of things right, and it turns out making beer is one of them. Resignation Brewery’s new KCCO Black Lager is more than just a beer for fanboys.

Give any home brewer enough capital and he’ll assume that the world should drink his beer. More often than not they’re dead wrong. That’s why I had low expectations when I first heard that The Chive was creating Resignation Brewery. Most homebrews are good enough for those with paternal pride but definitely won’t appeal to the general population. The eternal optimist in me had high hopes for The Chive though.

My long-distance positive thinking paid off because KCCO Black Lager is well worth drinking regardless of whether or not you identify yourself a Chiver. The Resig bros were able to create a session beer, of which the craft beer industry is still somewhat lacking, that tastes great and is easy to drink.

Colin Joliat

The beauty of a black lager is that your get a solid aroma and subtle flavor while still maintaining a light beer. Most people see dark and assume heavy, but those people are making the obnoxious “make an ass out of you and me” expression hold true. KCCO Black Lager is no exception.

The smell is somewhat muffled, but you can pick up on coffee right away. The first sip is surprisingly light and serves as a good reminder that you’re drinking a black lager and not a porter or stout. No need to pace yourself! KCCO has a subtle chocolate flavor that’s downright fantastic. I’m assuming it’s from chocolate malt and not actual chocolate nibs, but that’s better suited to a black lager anyway. It’s not overpowering but not some watery afterthought either. It’s clear that Leo or John (or both) reworked the recipe repeatedly to get the perfect balance between a beer with real flavor and something of which you can drink 100.

Here’s how home brewing normally goes. The first batch is borderline undrinkable. The second run is a lot like drinking a 40. It’s fun, but you couldn’t convince someone, including yourself, that it’s good. The 3rd batch is typically fine. Not good, but fine. That’s usually where people get excited and move onto a new absurd concoction. While the Resigs certainly started dabbling in other beers, they never forgot the good old black lager and continued working it to perfection.

KCCO Black Lager is everything I hoped it would be and more. It’s a beer meant for guys who like drinking beer, but it also fits right in with the chug and repeat crowd. It’s not cheap at $10 per six pack, but I’m happy to say the product justifies the price. The greatness of the product only makes me more disappointed that I didn’t get a call back about the Resignation Brewery social media gig.